Top ten tips to improve your long-range planning.

Author:Klein, Marcus

If you were given the opportunity to directly influence your company's success, would you take it?

Long-range planning has a significant impact on company success. It defines how your organization will operationalize corporate strategies into the specific investments that lead directly to corporate success for years to come. Given its influence, one would expect that participating in a process that shapes the company's future is precisely the activity executives would want to be involved in.

Instead we all consider it the most painful processes businesses perform today. Why? Today's process is manual, labor-intensive, and not actually perceived to achieve any of those objectives. Quite often, the long-range planning process is considered tedious and frustrating; ultimately delivering a plan bearing little resemblance to current business realities.

How successful organizations are tackling business realities.

Given the dissonance between the importance of the subject matter and the actual process, there is clearly need for change. How do we move the planning process from loathed and shunned to productive and powerful?

Recent research sponsored by Planview and conducted by FERF, the Research Affiliate of FEI, and Ventana Research illuminates a strategy. In February of 2013 Ventana Research published Long Range Planning Recommendations: Steps to Develop a More Effective Process, after conceptualizing analysis from benchmark findings of over 250 corporate finance professional on their of long-range planning processes and technology.

In this free recommendations report, they suggest in no particular order:

  1. Identify and prioritize aspects of your planning process that need attention.

  2. Ensure that executives clearly articulate strategic objectives.

  3. Concentrate on achieving faster decision cycles. 4. Assess how well your organization selects capital projects and major initiatives.

  4. Integrate long-range planning and management of projects and initiatives.

  5. Craft your long-range planning to enable agility.

  6. Evaluate and enable formal training...

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